New cancer drug unveiled

HARARE - New cancer medicine may be introduced in Zimbabwe by an international cancer research and treatment institution, CanCure.

Parminder Kaur, CanCure’s chief executive-cum-scientist, unveiled the drug, Chinmanna.

Kaur said clinical research done on the medicine, christened Oncomanna to suit international standards, show that it is more user-friendly than other procedures such as chemotherapy and radiology.

“It can be used to cure all kinds of cancers,” Kaur said. “It works well on its own as well as with the other already known treatment. It works for all age groups.

“We are following international standards. It is in liquid form and starts working the moment it touches the tongue.

“Some patients want to try it together with chemo or radiology because it takes faith. The overall summary shows it has more pros than cons over the limitations of other forms of treatment.”

At least 15 patients who have been using the drug have responded remarkably well and cases of recurrence were next to nil.

The treatment process is basically divided into four months of active treatment and two months of maintenance.

India, Austria and Switzerland are some of the countries that have already benefitted from the medicine since February this year.

The loot of cancer treatment in the country has been inhibitive causing some patients to die in their homes.

Nelson Ngwaru, executive director of National Cancer Alliance of Zimbabwe, said Kaur was scheduled to meet most of Zimbabwe’s oncologists and later, regulatory bodies, for the purposes of dissimilating the drug.

“It is not easy to move forward, there are certain channels that have to be followed,” said Ngwaru.

He said Zimbabwe was facing a major problem in curbing cancer because of late diagnosis.

“Then it will be good if we have a medicine that can be used to both treat and prevent.”

Kaur said the total cost of treatment with Chinmanna in US markets ranges between $10 000 to $20 000 compared to $25 000 to $40 000 for chemotherapy minus radiology.

Cancer Association in Zimbabwe programmes general manager Junior Mavu said cancer patients in the country are still a neglected community.

Kaur said many patients sometimes suffer serious palpitations and other side effects during the first week of commencing treatment but these disappear, paving way for speedy recovery.

Government statistics show that the total number of new cancer cases recorded among Zimbabweans in 2009 was 3 519 comprising 1 427 males and 2 092 females.

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